Hello to all my friends and fellow dancers! For those of you who are following my Facebook page, this will be a repeat of much of that, but I figured those who aren’t following me might want an occasional update too.

Have been dancing every night since I got here, almost exclusively West Coast Swing, though last night I tried out a ballroom dance venue and had a great time. Tonight I’ll check out one of the local country-western dance locales.

Spent Thanksgiving weekend at the US Open Swing Dance Championships, the premier dance competition in the West Coast Swing dance world. Got to take workshops from, and see performances by, the best dancers in the world. I volunteered in exchange for a free pass to the event, so I had to put in 12 hours of, in my case, door security duty, which wasn’t too bad except for the one midnight-2am shift…

The same couple (Benji Schwimmer and Torri Smith) who won last year’s showcase division won again this year. Interesting notes from the competition…in pretty much every division, a majority of the winners (placed in the top 5) came from California. But in the Advanced Jack-and-Jill (the improvisational competition, where couples are paired at random), only one US contestant even placed; all the other winners were from France, UK, Brazil, Russia and Hungary. The US, where West Coast Swing originated, may be starting to lose its advantage.

I miss you all, but don’t miss the cold; it’s pretty much in the 70s during the days here and I love it! Till next time…Carole

There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. — Vicki Baum

Videos from the 2012 US Open Swing Dance Championships: